You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
Overdentures are one of the lesser-known prosthodontic options available to people who have lost most or all of their teeth. They attach to dental implants that are placed in your jawbone, which gives them a fit that's more snug than traditional dentures. At the same time, you can still remove them for cleaning or repair. Below, you'll find three reasons why overdentures are an excellent option for whole-mouth dental restoration at a reasonable price.
1. Overdentures Preserve Jawbone Health
The biggest problem with traditional dentures is that they're associated with loss of bone in your jaw. You may not know it, but your bones are constantly regenerating regrowing and regenerating themselves. The bones in your jaw, in particular, are stimulated to regenerate when they experience the force of chewing.
Unfortunately, traditional dentures aren't secured well enough to the jaw in order to properly transmit these forces. When you wear traditional dentures, your jawbone will begin to lose bone mass and decrease in volume. This results in your mouth and cheeks having a sunken look to them. It also makes future dental restoration procedures more difficult to perform, as many of them rely on having a strong jawbone in order to attach implants.
Overdentures, even though they're not secured fully to your jaw, are capable of transmitting enough force to prevent bone loss. This makes them a good choice for people who want to preserve bone mass for dental work in the future and avoid a sunken facial appearance.
2. Overdentures Are Less Expensive Than Fixed Dentures
Fixed dentures are one of the most common approaches used in whole-mouth dental restoration. However, they're quite expensive. Fixed dentures aren't removable like overdentures — they're left permanently inside your mouth. This means that they need to attach to your jaw very securely.
In order to accomplish the secure fit, prosthodontists need to attach the fixed dentures to your jawbone using about five or six dental implants. In addition, the implants need to be placed in bone that's very healthy. This may sometimes require bone grafting as part of dental restoration, which adds additional bone mass to your jawbone.
The need to use up to six implants and potentially perform bone grafting makes fixed dentures a more expensive option that overdentures. Overdentures can be placed in the lower jaw using only two implants, while they can typically be securely attached to the upper jaw using three or four. Since fewer implants need to be placed, overdentures are significantly less expensive.
3. Overdentures Can Later Be Made Into Fixed Dentures
If you do desire fixed dentures as an endpoint, overdentures can be used as your first step. Using medical imaging, your prosthodontist can place the implants and design your overdentures in a way that allows them to be transformed into fixed dentures later. Once you're ready to make the switch, all your prosthodontist needs to do is to add more implants and then permanently adhere the dentures to them.
Overall, overdentures are a very cost-effective option for dental restoration. They fit snugly in your mouth, they preserve bone health, they're less expensive than fully fixed dentures and they can be upgraded to fixed dentures later. If you have numerous missing teeth or are missing all of your teeth entirely, overdentures can give you the natural smile that you desire at an excellent price.
For more information about prosthodontics, contact a clinic like New England Dental Specialists of Norwood.